Australia diocese ordains first Filipino priest in 30 years

June 7, 2023 - 11:15 AM
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Newly ordained Fr. Andric Dean Taberdo concelebrates the Mass for the first time as a new priest at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral following his ordination May 24. (Screenshot from Diocese of Darwin video via CBCP News)

For the first time in three decades, a Filipino was ordained to the priesthood for one of the oldest dioceses in Australia.

Fr. Andric Dean Taberdo, 28, was ordained for the northern diocese of Darwin at a Mass presided over by Bishop Charles Gauci at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral on May 24.

The bishop said Taberdo was a “local boy”, whose migrant family settled in Palmerston and who answered God’s call to serve his people.

“A priest is called by God to serve other people and help them in their role and mission in life. Let’s all keep in him our prayers so he can be a faithful follower of Jesus,” Gauci said.

The Mass was concelebrated by the diocese’s bishop emeritus, Eugene Hurley, and several priests from across the nation.

After his years of theological studies at the Melbourne Seminary, Taberdo received his diaconal ordination at the same cathedral in October 2022.

Prior to his priestly ordination, he was a member of the cathedral parish team and helped ministered at the St. Mary’s School and St. John’s College, among others.

Taberdo, whose roots came from La Union province’s Agoo town, thanked God, his family, and the bishops and priests who supported him throughout his religious journey.

Vice Consul Angela Laurente of the Embassy of the Philippines in Canberra was among those who greeted the new priest’s “historic” ordination.

More than 7,000 Filipinos live in Australia’s Northern Territory.